As summer draws to a close, it is exhilarating to watch a talented new class arriving with their families and settling in for what promises to be a stimulating, eventful academic year—the 173rd for historic Bethany College.
Bethany’s athletic teams, who have already been on campus since mid-August, are off to a fresh and exciting new start, and we look forward to building on the momentum created last year by our scholar-athletes. Greek advisors met for an off-campus planning session to formulate plans to enhance and grow this important aspect of college life in 2012-13. And Bethany faculty attended workshops and briefings as they prepared to convene classes on August 27. Seven talented faculty members have joined the Bethany family, adding to our already impressive ranks. As their credentials, publications and leadership demonstrate, this next generation of Bethany scholars will continue to enrich our outstanding academic reputation.
Students are abuzz with news of rewarding summer opportunities, including travel, work, internships or some combination of all three. A dozen Communications and Media Arts majors built valuable skills through internship experience in print, social media, radio, television and public relations with such employers as the Washington Wild Things ball club, Washington, Pa.; Vox Mobile; WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh; ABC-7, Washington, D.C.; Booz, Allen and Hamilton, McLean, Va.; the Bechtel Corporation, Frederick, Md.; and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania, among others. Meanwhile, 33 students enrolled in Bethany’s first online summer session in partnership with the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities (OCICU). The College’s memberships in consortia and partnerships such as this greatly expand learning opportunities for our students.
I have to add that a highlight of the summer for us Major League Baseball fans in the Pittsburgh region has been the resurgence of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise—a team that has waited many years for a winning season and is now a contender for the playoffs. With strong connections to Bethany College and the Ohio Valley region, the Nutting family of Wheeling assumed controlling ownership of the Pirates six years ago, and began rebuilding the team’s winning tradition. The Nutting family has been supportive of the College for many generations; Ogden and Bob Nutting currently serve on our Board of Trustees.
The Nutting family is honored throughout the Bethany campus. A plaque in the foyer of the Communications and Media Arts wing of Bethany House commemorates the early involvement of H.C. Ogden, founder of Ogden Newspapers and a former Board member of Bethany. The Nutting Gymnasium in Hummel Field House is the main venue for three intercollegiate teams. A commemorative plaque in The Ogden Dining Hall in Benedum Commons honors the generations of service from the Ogden/Nutting family to our remarkable college.
This summer, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Sven de Jong and I logged many miles around the country meeting with alumni and friends coast to coast. We’re appreciative of our loyal sponsors for these events at a variety of venues. We gain inspiration with each visit as we hear heartfelt stories of the instrumental and enduring role Bethany, especially its faculty, has played in the lives of our graduates.
It’s alumni like Ken Bado (San Francisco), Rick Clancy (San Diego), John Mullen and Bill Newton (Nashville), Greg and Ellen Jordan (Pittsburgh), Bruce Brothis (Aurora, Colorado), Rick Zarnoch, Bill and Valerie Knapp (Columbus) and a non-alumnus but new Trustee, Asa Johnson (New York City), who have built the College’s enduring legacy. Other alumni and friends-sponsored events are being held in the coming weeks in Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Richmond, Philadelphia and Boston. A new tradition is “Thirsty Thursday” gatherings for young alumni in the Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., areas.
To all who have helped to promote Bethany and forge ever-closer ties, we extend our heartfelt gratitude.
Alumni often ask, “How can I help?” Let me offer some ways:
- Become active in the Class Agent program.
- Develop regional alumni groups, sponsoring gatherings for clusters of alumni to meet around the country.
- Serve as enthusiastic ambassadors for Bethany.
- Promote Homecoming and Alumni Weekend with your fellow alumni.
- Encourage alumni to stay in touch via e-communication.
- Recommend top prospective students to us.
- Make one or more annual gifts to The Bethany Fund.
- Visit the Erickson Alumni Center.
- Sponsor a lecture series/panel discussion that could be incorporated into Alumni Weekend and open to both alumni and current students.
- Bring a prospective student for a campus visit or to a College event.
In my 2012 State-of-the-College Address live on the Bethany Broadcasting Network, I outlined our recent successes and renewed opportunities as A Small College of National Distinction. If you missed the address, you can find it archived on our website, www.bethanywv.edu.
Annie and I extend our warmest wishes to everyone for the new academic year. I hope you will visit the College during Homecoming, October 5 and 6, 2012; Alumni Weekend, May 3-5, 2013, or whenever your schedule permits. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus.